On Sunday March 9th, Fox aired the first in its series for the remake of Carl Sagan Cosmos.
This one featured Neil Degrasse Tyson and looks to be an amazing show.
If you haven’t seen it you can watch it by clicking the image below.
Don’t Forget about our Meeting.
Join us this Sunday. We are getting together again this Sunday March 16 at 10 AM. We are in our usual location in the Skagit Valley Co-op room 309.
This month we are going to watch Part 2 of CFI’s series American Freethought.
It appears that Council member Jim Campbell is offering another prayer. This time it looks like he is offering an “answer” to my invocation.
In my invocation I clearly stated that the council members should use their own reason in making decisions.
It is incumbent upon this council to make the best decisions for the community. In this regard, I ask that you use reason, wisdom and empathy in your deliberations today.
Campbell has invoked his god to make these decision for the council and that they should obey him. This seems to be in direct opposition to my statement.
As we do the city’s business tonight, we ask also that you instill us… in us what you want to be happening in Oak Harbor so that we can obey you. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.
This is also a direct violation of the resolution passed in June of 2013.
I very nearly consider this a direct slap in the face of Humanists not only in Oak Harbor, but to all the secular people that supported me and my invocation.
Our president, Robert, is doing something pretty extreme, and we to asking you to join him in one of two ways: You can do what he doing, or you can support him with a donation for childhood cancer research!
What is he doing?
He is going to have his head shaved at a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event. Please come out and support on Mar 28, 2014 at University of Puget Sound 1500 N. Warner Tacoma, WA.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.
As a Shavee, he will stand in solidarity with kids being treated for cancer. But the real point of all this is to raise money for research that will help save lives. He is doing it for infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting cancer.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. This is a volunteer-driven charity, which keeps fundraising costs low and grants high. St. Baldrick’s gave over $24.5 million to childhood cancer research in 2013 – almost all raised by more than 58,000 “shavees” like me, from people like you!
You can give online, with a mobile device, or by phone (888-899-BALD). Credit cards are the most efficient way to give. Checks can be made payable to “St. Baldrick’s Foundation.” Every dollar counts in the fight to Conquer Childhood Cancers!
Last night I gave a Secular Humanist invocation at the Oak Harbor City Council meeting. All in all it went very well.
Speaking in front of people is not a natural position for me so I was a bit nervous at first. But once I settled in, it felt a little more natural. At least I didn’t faint.
I would like to thank all of the freethinkers on the island that came to show their support. If you look at the video, I think both of the front rows were full of freethinker and Humanist.
I don’t know everyone’s name but I would like to mention a few I do. Thanks so much to Tom Smith of Secular Radio for bringing this whole prayer issue to my attention. Gwen and Perry of KWPA. Marshall, Ken and Renée from the Humanists of North Puget Sound. Greg and his wife (sorry I don’t remember her name).
And last but most certainly not least, my wife Amy. Without her continued support, I would have never been able to do this, or any of the other activities I do.
Full text of the speech under the video.
Thank you Mayor and council members for this opportunity to provide an inspirational start to your meeting.Normally you would bow your heads for an invocation in this chamber, but I am going to ask that you raise your eyes and think about a few things today.
When this body comes together to govern, they do so with the consent of the citizens of Oak Harbor. Oak Harbor is a very diverse community with many different views and opinions.
My Secular Humanism, which is to say, reason and science lead me to believe that we, as humans, can meet the challenges of these differences and create a society with less dissension and leave a better, more equal culture for future generations.
It is incumbent upon this council to make the best decisions for the community. In this regard, I ask that you use reason, wisdom and empathy in your deliberations today. To take into account the implications your decisions will have now and in the future. We should all plant an acorn, even though we may not live to hear the wind rush through its leaves or the joyous laughter of children playing in the comfort of its shade. We plant the seed for the benefit of future generations.
In the words of Bertrand Russell, in order to do our part “One must care about a world one will not see.
Freethinking is a school of thought that espouses the practice of logic, reason, and skeptical inquiry. I was not raised a Freethinker. I can’t even say I’ve been a Freethinker for the majority of my life. I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, raised by Catholic parents, and attended a Catholic school for a good number of years. My original career aspiration was to become a priest at the church I attended.
“I swear I see what is better than to tell the best, it is always to leave the best untold.” -Walt Whitman
My mom never read Walt Whitman. She never spoke of literature or art, really. She was too busy working the grave yard shift at the big hospital on the hill. She was too busy trying to cover the bills, to buy hamburger and blue jeans for her kids. We had few friends, we knew a few people and we got along just fine. I made it through. So, with my childhood obligations completed I left the house; young, innocent, hopeful and a little scared.
I grew up in a family with a dirty little secret. This was a secret I didn’t care to share with a soul and knew to keep it quiet at a very young age. I held onto this surreptitious knowledge with quiet pride, but also with deep fear of its public knowledge. It seemed that as soon as other people found out about my families clandestine information they would cower away in fear or perhaps even disgust. I could never tell which it was; I just knew that I became painfully aware of the change in behavior from others as soon as our secret had been revealed.
La Conner, WA – February 4, 2012 – Demonstrating strong partnership among Seattle’s secular organizations, the Humanists of North Puget Sound presented a $10,000 matching donation to Camp Quest NorthWest, a summer camp promoting science, reason, and critical thinking. The matching award ceremony will take place 1:00PM, Saturday, February 4, 2012, at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Mount Vernon, WA.
During our annual business meeting held on Sunday January 19th, we held bi-annual elections for our Executive Board.
Robert Ray- President
Virginia Fitzpatrick- Vice President
Monty Vonn- Secretary
Amy Ray- Treasurer
Ken Jones- Board Member
If you are interested in serving as a board member, let us know at by emailing us.
HNPS President to give invocation to Oak Harbor City Council
On February 4th at 6 PM, Robert Ray will give the first ever Humanist Invocation to the Oak Harbor City Council.
As some of you know, in June of 2013, Oak Harbor City Council passed resolution 13-06 stating that invocations will no longer mention the name of a particular deity and they would use clergy from the surrounding area to present the invocation. Even after this resolution, the invocations were still very sectarian and mentions the Christian deity on nearly every occasion.
In December Robert wrote the council to request the opportunity to offer a Humanist invocation. The council accepted and the rest is soon to be history.
You can show your support for Robert at the meeting which will be at 865 SE Barrington Drive, Oak Harbor WA 98277 or you can watch the live stream here.
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS FOR HUMANISTS OF NORTH PUGET SOUND
1.1 Name. The name of this organization is HUMANISTS OF NORTH PUGET SOUND (HNPS).
1.2 Purpose. HNPS is organized as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation to develop and support the secular humanist, freethinking, rationalist, agnostic, atheist, skeptic and non-theist communities; to provide opportunities for socializing and friendship among these groups; to promote and defend their views; to protect the first amendment principle of state-church separation; to oppose any discrimination based upon religious conviction, particularly when it is directed at the non-religious; to expose the dangers of supernaturalism and superstition; to promote science; and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals.
This organization shall operate in an open, democratic manner, without discrimination as to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, nationality or disability.
The Bylaws to this Constitution are intended to further define and explain the operating procedure of this organization. Changes may be made to the Bylaws when necessary to improve the operation of this organization. Changes to the Bylaws shall not alter the purpose of this organization as set forth in this Constitution: (more…)